It is both opportune and challenging to present a State of the Environment report in 2021, as our planet and all its residents feel the effects of a global pandemic. While priorities must continue to focus on preventing the spread and managing the many impacts of COVID-19, it is also a good time to assess and determine how resilient our physical environment is to change – including changes to climate, resources and the growth of Saskatchewan's industries and communities. Hence our ministry's vision: a healthy, resilient environment.
This year's State of the Environment report – which our government publishes in various forms every two years – builds on measures highlighted in our full 2017 report, as well as our 2019 Focus on Forests report. The 2021 report will largely be an online product. This approach will allow the ministry to update environmental indicators in a timelier manner, and provide easier public access to State of the Environment information.
The 2021 report demonstrates our environment is indeed healthy, and illustrates how resilient and prepared it is for growth and global climate change. For example, our air quality is good, our forests are sufficiently regenerated after harvest activity, we've introduced multiple regulations to address greenhouse gas emissions, and our province's recycling programs continue to thrive and expand.
The 2021 State of the Environment report also complements other government and ministry reporting and communication efforts. This includes our annual climate resilience report, which shows 18 of 25 measures are classified as good, an increase from 15 in the 2019 resilience report. It also includes the ministry's growing social media presence – used to share educational, environmental information – and our Solid Waste Management Strategy, which will report on provincial progress towards waste reduction goals in the coming years.
All this important environmental work and progress – designed by government policy and programming, but made possible by the people and organizations of our beautiful province – contribute to Saskatchewan's Growth Plan. As we set a foundation for the future to support a strong economy, strong communities and strong families, our goal is always to build a stronger Saskatchewan.
Hon. Warren Kaeding
Minister of Environment